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Men’s pro volleyball report: SVG Lüneburg, Knigge into European final

Men’s pro volleyball report: SVG Lüneburg, Knigge into European final

Matt Knigge and Lübeburg are in the Eueopean Cup final/CEV.eu photo

This is Blair Lambert’s VolleyballMag men’s professional volleyball report, featuring Americans around the world and foreigners who played for NCAA programs. Got a note about a player or a comment for Blair? Email him at blairlambert2@gmail.com

After getting swept on the road by Arkas Izmir in the first leg of the CEV Cup semifinals, SVG Lüneburg and Matt Knigge and Gage Worsley needed to win in three or four sets to force a golden set for the chance to earn a place in the final. So after dropping the first set, the German side needed to win the next four sets to advance.

What’s more, Lüneburg was two points from elimination at 23-23 in the second set before winning 25-23. Lüneburg also overturned a five-point deficit and staved off two set points to claim the third set 30-28 and stay alive. At the end of the night, Knigge’s eight kills, five blocks and an ace led the way in a 17-25, 25-23, 30-28, 25-18, 15-8 victory that put the team in its firsrt European cup final.

Blake Leeson started the second set and and stayed in, scoring on three kills, two blocks and an ace. Worsley passed 44 percent positively and six percent perfect.

SVG Lüneburg plays Asseco Resovia Rzeszów, which swept Fenerbahce. TJ DeFalco played in the first two sets, leading the match with 11 kills, two blocks and two aces.

CEV Champions League

Trentino plays Lube Civitanova in the semifinals after a four-set win against Halkbank Ankara. Aleksandar Nikolov led Lube with 16 kills and an ace. Jakob Thellle, the Norwegian rookie from Hawaii, came into the match early in the first set and ran the Lube offense with a .347 attack efficiency to go with four kills and an ace. Micah Ma’a played in the first three sets and had a kill and set Halkbank to a .202 hitting percentage.

Jakob Thelle sets for Lube Civitanova/cev.eu photo

In the other semifinal, Matt Anderson’s Ziraat Bankasi, which survived a golden set against CV Guagas, plays Jastrzębski Węgiel after a sweep of Gas Sales Piacenza.

Cody Kessel started the third set, scoring on three kills and a block in the Berlin Recycling Volleys’ three-set loss to Trentino.

Poland

ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle swept Exact Systems Hemarpol Częstochowa as Dave Smith had two kills, two blocks and an ace. Erik Shoji passed 46 percent positively and 23 percent perfectly.

Smith hit .800 on his way to four kills, a block and an ace in a sweep of KGHM Cuprum Lubin. Shoji passed 70…

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